Justia Mississippi Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Arbitration & Mediation
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This consolidated appeal stemmed from a lawsuit in which Mark Wolgin sued various entities alleging wrongdoing surrounding his 2006 purchase of a condominium on the Gulf Coast. In case #2010-CA-00653-SCT, Wolgin appealed the Chancery Court's decision to dismiss two credit reporting agencies (Trans Union LLC and Experian Information Solutions, Inc. ("Experian")), finding that claims against them were preempted by the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"). In case #2010-CA-01177-SCT, the broker for the sale, The Power Broker, Inc. ("Power Broker"), appealed the Chancery Court's decision to order discovery on the scope of the mandatory arbitration clause in the "Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Real Estate" instead of fully granting its "Motion to Compel Arbitration." Regarding Wolgin's appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the trial court's order dismissing the credit reporting agencies, as Wolgin's claims are preempted by the FCRA. As to Power Broker's appeal, the Court reversed the trial court judgment ordering discovery and remanded the case with instructions to stay the proceedings and refer the matter to arbitration. View "Wolgin v. Experian Information Solutions, Inc." on Justia Law

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This interlocutory appeal stemmed from litigation concerning a contract dispute among Williams Transport, LLC (Williams Transport), Driver Pipeline Company, Inc. (Driver Pipeline), Buckley Equipment Services, Inc. (Buckley Equipment), and other unnamed defendants. Based on an arbitration clause in the contract, Driver Pipeline filed a motion to compel arbitration. The trial court denied the motion to compel arbitration as well as a subsequent motion for reconsideration. Driver Pipeline filed a petition for interlocutory appeal, which the Supreme Court accepted as a notice of appeal. Finding no error by the trial court in denying Driver Pipeline's motion to compel arbitration, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Driver Pipeline Company, Inc., Buckley Equipment Services, Inc. v. Williams Transport, LLC" on Justia Law

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Two appeals are were consolidated from chancery-court cases. In the first case, Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association, Inc. sued Thomas R. Alfonso, III, and Anne Scafidi Cordova,1 d/b/a Bay Jourdan Publishing Co. (BJP) for breach of a contract to publish "The Diamondhead News." In 1997, the chancery court entered a preliminary injunction order preventing BJP from publishing "The Diamondhead News," selling advertising, collecting or disposing of advertising revenues derived from the publication the paper, and interfering with the printing, publication, or distribution of "The Diamondhead News." The chancery court also found that an arbitration clause in the publishing contract was inapplicable to the lawsuit. The chancery court denied BJP’s two subsequent motions to compel arbitration of the breach-of-contract dispute. BJP appealed the chancery court’s latest denial of arbitration. In the second case, BJP sued Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing Co., Inc., d/b/a "The Sun Herald" (“Gulf Publishing”), for intentional interference with the publishing contract. Gulf Publishing filed a motion for summary judgment. The court granted summary judgment to Gulf Publishing and directed the entry of a final judgment as to Gulf Publishing pursuant to Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). BJP appealed the grant of summary judgment. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the chancery court’s order denying BJP’s third motion to compel arbitration because the issue was ruled upon previously, and no appeal was taken. Finding genuine issues of material fact for trial, the Court reversed the chancery court’s order granting summary judgment to Diamondhead and Gulf Publishing, and remanded the second case for further proceedings. View "Alfonso v. Gulf Publishing Co., Inc." on Justia Law

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This case was an interlocutory appeal from a circuit court which granted the "Motions to Compel Arbitration" of Pass Marianne, LLC (Pass) and Alfonso Realty, Inc. (Alfonso). On appeal, the Supreme Court considered: (1) whether Pass waived its right to arbitration, and (2) whether a principal’s waiver of its contractual right to arbitrate operates to waive that right for its agent. In 2005, Pass entered into a contract with Carl E. Woodward, LLC (Woodward) for the construction of a new condominium development, Pass Marianne Condominiums, in Pass Christian, Mississippi. In February, Pass and Lemon Drop Properties, LLC (Lemon Drop) entered into a "Preconstruction Sales and Purchase Agreement" for Unit No. 209 within the Pass Marianne Condominiums. Because of Hurricane Katrina, construction of the Pass Marianne Condominiums was not completed until 2007. On October 3, 2007, Pass executed a warranty deed conveying Unit No. 209 to Lemon Drop, and Woodward furnished a "Warranty of Completion of Construction" to Lemon Drop. On October 28, 2008, Lemon Drop filed a Complaint in the circuit court against Pass and Woodward, which sought, inter alia, rescission of the Agreement due to alleged defects in design and construction. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that while Pass waived its right to compel arbitration, that waiver was not imputed to its agent, Alfonso. As there was no evidence of waiver by Alfonso, it should have been entitled to proceed in arbitration. Therefore, as to Alfonso the Court affirmed the circuit court's order granting arbitration was affirmed. But regarding Pass, Court reversed and remanded the circuit court's order for further proceedings. View "Lemon Drop Properties, LLC. v. Pass Marianne, LLC" on Justia Law